A love letter to America's most beloved sport and an exploration of the deeper dimensions it reveals
For more than a decade, New York University President John Sexton has used baseball to illustrate the elements of a spiritual life in a wildly popular course at NYU. Using some of the great works of baseball fiction as well as the actual game's fantastic moments, its legendary characters, and its routine rituals—from the long-sought triumph of the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers, to the heroic achievements of players like the saintly Christy Mathewson and the sinful Ty Cobb, to the loving intimacy of a game of catch between a father and son—Sexton teaches that through the game we can touch the spiritual dimension of life.
Baseball as a Road to God is about the elements of our lives that lie beyond what can be captured in words alone—ineffable truths that we know by experience rather than by logic or analysis. Applying to the secular activity of baseball a form of inquiry usually reserved for the study of religion, Sexton reveals a surprising amount of common ground between the game and what we all recognize as religion: sacred places and time, faith and doubt, blessings and curses, and more.
In thought-provoking, beautifully rendered prose, this book elegantly demonstrates that baseball is more than a game, or even a national pastime: It can be a road to a deeper and more meaningful life.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is an excellent book for anyone who loves baseball or for who has a spiritual bent outlook on life.
I found it to be a charming philosophical view into baseball. Forcing me to look at the game I have loved all of my life from a completely different perspective.
Sexton approaches the issue though from a ecumenical "spiritual" point of view, rather than a "religious" on invoking only human spirituality in all of its forms in his discussion on "Baseball as A Road to God".
This book is highly theological at times and at other times reads as a fascinating collection of baseball myths. In the form of the Greek myth, which Sexton explains as a "truth that is experienced, an awareness that lies beyond words".
If you've no interest in either of those subjects, than don't read this book as it will most likely bore you to tears.
If, however, you are one who valiantly defends baseball against the hordes of uninformed who complain at the...
This book was great for me on three levels. First the author(s) has a gift for language that most of the approximately 40 - 50 books I read each year are missing. I didn't want to stop reading but found that I needed to reflect on a chapter (inning) before continuing. Second, the book captures the essence of baseball better than the other many books I have read over the years. Baseball became my connection to the world when I was bedridden with a heart disease in the late 1940's. Today it is the only sport that I follow. This book explains much of what I have felt for many years. Third, the book speaks to me about my search for meaning in life. I first read the word "ineffable" my first year out of college while reading the last paragraph of Albert Schweitzer's book, The Quest of the Historical Jesus. This author uses it on almost every page.
I have purchased three additional copies of the book, one for my minister, one for my great friend who helped me create a...
Given the author's academic credentials, and the interest I have in both baseball and religion, I was pretty excited to read this book. My disappointment is not in its lack of stories--there are many, and they are fun to read--nor in the author's love of both subjects. I just was expecting to gain more insights into the reasons why enjoying baseball can shed light into the religious experience. The religious aspects are not mentioned nearly as much--or were they just told with less vigor, so I've forgotten them already?
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